ARROW’s John Barrowman On Malcolm Merlyn, and Stephen Amell Interview

In this latest Arrow video, fan favorite John Barrowman talks about the thought process that he goes through to portray Malcolm Merlyn and the manipulative ways he goes about explaining his actions, especially when it comes to confronting Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) about Thea (Willa Holland).

In an interview with Stephen Amell, TV Line was able to get much out of him about the series’ return from the mid-season finale.  Of course, Amell was pretty mum if/when his character would return to the show, and if so, how he would survive after the events in the December episode.  Last we saw of him, he was pretty much at death’s door, being stabbed through with a sword by Ra’s al Ghul and kicked over the edge of a high, snowy cliff.  But recent teasers revealed his body being dragged on a rickshaw by an unknown person to who-knows-where.  He won’t say anything about the situation on that, but here’s what he did reveal:

TVLINE: Why do you think it was important to put Oliver through this right now?
Stephen Amell: Well, I think that as much as I like being victorious over the Dark Archer or Deathstroke, there is an important element on any television show, and that is that you have to defeat your protagonist every once in a while, so that hopefully he or she learns something. And hopefully they’re alive to learn the lesson.

Stephen Amell talks about others taking over in Arrow's absence

TVL: Will what’s happened here in essence trigger the back half of the season?
SA: Absolutely, because it forces other people into roles that maybe they weren’t ready for or didn’t think they were ready for, but now they’re forced into them.

TVL: Are the Lazarus Pits part of the Arrow TV show world?
SA: Yes.

TVL: OK. Because I know the producers have always had a set of rules about what’s real, what’s…
SA: How the Lazarus Pit works, I think, is up for debate. That being said, I’m pretty sure it was confirmed that when we first met Matt Nable’s Ra’s al Ghul, he had been in a Lazarus Pit. When he said, “It’s been 67 years since someone challenged me,” unless he was negative-15 when that happened, he’s looking pretty good!

TVL: Like you said, it’s a time for other heroes to rise.
SA: Absolutely. You can’t have a television show that is going to sustain interest and continue to grow and become better if it’s just the same all the time. If you don’t elevate new characters and make them as important as the main character, then you’re dead in the water. You’re going to become stale. So, I want to see a discussion in the Arrowcave where Roy steps to the forefront and says, “I’m making the decision, let’s go. This is going to be my show this time.” I think that we have characters that are ready for moments like that.

TVL: On the romantic front, Stephen Amell talks love on Arrowdo you think there is a place on Arrow for a great love? I mean, Smallville had Clark and Lois, the Spider-Man movies always involve Mary Jane or Gwen…. A female is always a part of the hero’s journey.
SA: I think that both Laurel and Sara, for Oliver, were loves that were principally from the past, from before the boat. And any other sort of brief relationship that he’s had has been flawed. Felicity has clearly, over the course of two-plus seasons, grown into that love for him. It’s just a matter of whether or not they can ever find a spot where they can make it work on an ongoing basis.

TVL: You’re always so great about teasing upcoming epic fight or stunt sequences. What’s an episode to watch?
SA: From an action standpoint, I get special feelings about certain episodes — and I have that feeling about Episode 15, which we’re actually filming right now. But also, I think that Episode 14 is the biggest nod to the fans and will be one of the most enjoyable episodes that you’ll get to watch if you’ve been a fan of the show since the beginning.

You can read the full interview with Stephen Amell at TVLine.

Watch the return of Arrow tonight on The CW!

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